|High Quality Med., P.C. v Mercury Ins. Co.|
|2010 NY Slip Op 51900(U) [29 Misc 3d 132(A)]|
|Decided on November 8, 2010|
|Appellate Term, Second Department|
|Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.|
|This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.|
Appeal from an order of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County (Noach
Dear, J.), entered March 19, 2009. The order, insofar as appealed from, denied defendant's
motion for summary judgment dismissing the fifth cause of action.
ORDERED that the order, insofar as appealed from, is reversed without costs and defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the fifth cause of action is granted.
In this action by a provider to recover assigned first-party no-fault benefits, defendant moved, insofar as is relevant to this appeal, for summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's fifth cause of action on the ground that the services rendered were not medically necessary. The Civil Court denied defendant's motion, finding that plaintiff's doctor's affirmation raised a triable issue of fact. This appeal by defendant ensued.
The affidavit submitted by defendant in support of its motion for summary judgment was sufficient to establish that defendant's denial of claim form, which had denied the claim at issue of the ground of lack of medical necessity, was timely mailed in accordance with defendant's standard office practices and procedures (see St. Vincent's Hosp. of Richmond v Government Empls. Ins. Co., 50 AD3d 1123 ; Residential Holding Corp. v Scottsdale Ins. Co., 286 AD2d 679 ; Delta Diagnostic Radiology, P.C. v Chubb Group of Ins., 17 Misc 3d 16 [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]). Defendant also submitted an affidavit executed by the doctor who had performed an independent medical examination (IME), as well as an affirmed IME report, establishing, prima facie, a lack of medical necessity for the services at issue (see Amaze Med. Supply Inc. v Allstate Ins. Co., 12 Misc 3d 142[A], 2006 NY Slip Op 51412[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2006]).
In opposition to the motion, plaintiff submitted an affirmation executed by its principal, Dr. Nihamin. In its reply papers, defendant objected to said affirmation on the ground that the affirmation failed to comply with CPLR 2106. Although the Civil Court found that defendant had failed to prove that Dr. Nihamin was plaintiff's principal, the claim form submitted to defendant by plaintiff identified Dr. Nihamin as plaintiff's principal. As a result, the submission of Dr. Nihamin's affirmation was improper because Dr. Nihamin is a principal of plaintiff [*2]professional corporation, which is a party to the action (see CPLR 2106; Samuel & Weininger v Belovin & Franzblau, 5 AD3d 466 ; Richard M. Gordon & Assoc., P.C. v Rascio, 12 Misc 3d 131[A], 2006 NY Slip Op 51055[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2006]; see also Pisacreta v Minniti, 265 AD2d 540 ). Since the Civil Court should not have considered any facts set forth, or exhibits referred to, in said affirmation (see Pisacreta, 265 AD2d 540), plaintiff failed to proffer any evidence in admissible form which raised an issue of fact (see Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557 ). Even if Dr. Nihamin's affirmation were considered, plaintiff nevertheless failed to raise an issue of fact as Dr. Nihamin did not meaningfully refer to, let alone rebut, the conclusions set forth in the IME report (see Pan Chiropractic, P.C. v Mercury Ins. Co., 24 Misc 3d 136[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 51495[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]; see also Innovative Chiropractic, P.C. v Mercury Ins. Co., 25 Misc 3d 137[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 52321[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]). Accordingly, the order, insofar as appealed from, is reversed and defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's fifth cause of action is granted (A. Khodadadi Radiology, P.C. v NY Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 16 Misc 3d 131[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 51342[U] [App Term, 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2007]).
Pesce, P.J., Rios and Steinhardt, JJ., concur.
Decision Date: November 08, 2010